Child safety no trivial pursuit

May 01, 2014
What is a cassowary? A rodent? A bird? A bug?

Child safety is no game for the Edmonton, Alberta, Kiwanis Club. Twice a year, the club stages Trivia Night, an evening of purposeful fun and friendly—though often heated—competition. The events raise thousands of dollars for Kiwanis Safety City, a facility that provides safety training for tens of thousands of Alberta children every year.

Challenge the trivia master by answering these questions gleaned from a recent Alberta Kiwanis Trivia Night:

1. How many US states border at least one other state?

2. What's a cassowary?

3. Which is the largest country in Scandinavia?

4. Holly Golightly is the heroine of which Truman Capote novel?

5. How many stars are on the Subaru's car logo?

6. Pratt, Windsor and four-in-hand all make reference to what piece of men’s attire?

7. In which Olympic sport might you “catch a crab”?

8. What country has the highest number of Roman Catholics?

Scroll down for the answers.

Modeled after a popular pastime in British pubs, Trivia Night has become a mainstay in the Edmonton area. The concept was introduced to the club in 2008 by Roy Bird, who oversees the events and is known by many as the “trivia master.” Since then, on an evening each October and April, hundreds of local residents, including members of neighboring Kiwanis clubs, file into the Londonberry Community League Hall to test their knowledge of trivia.

"We have a loyal following,” Bird says, “and are in danger of outgrowing the community hall we currently hold it in. Many teams attend, not because they think they can win, but just to see how many silly answers they can discuss among their teammates. There ‘s a lot of laughter, as well as groans and cheers when the answers are given."

Teams of up to six people compete against each other to see who can get the most correct answers to 60 questions posed to them by the trivia master.

“The atmosphere is fun, but occasionally tense,” says club member Ali Grotkowski. “I don’t think any team has ever had a perfect game. Your team is usually doing well if you’re getting more than 50 percent of the questions right.”

In addition to paying a CDN$10 entry fee, contestants take part in a silent auction. Items are donated by  businesses and politicians, and could include office furniture, books, tools, clothing and artwork. Donors also provide team prizes given out during the event. A typical evening nets the club $3,000 to $4,000, earmarked for Kiwanis Safety City.

Sporting a miniaturized traffic and pedestrian site, Kiwanis Safety City features life-sized operational traffic lights, railroad and pedestrian crossings and scaled-down buildings donated by supporting corporations. Bird says these all give the site the look and feel of an actual working city.

Children ‘s programs, he adds, include pedestrian traffic safety; Pedal Pushers bicycle safety for ages 5-8; a Pedal Pushers bicycle camp for ages 9-12; scooter parties; babysitter courses; safety and environment day camps.

Trivia Night also benefits local Kiwanis clubs.

“Trivia Night itself sees a tremendous amount of cooperation between all clubs in the area,” Bird explains. “Set-up, take down, kitchen duties, registration, bar, silent auction are all assigned to individual clubs. It's truly a cooperative effort.”



1. 48
2. A type of large, flightless bird
3. Sweden
4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
5. 6 stars
6. Necktie
7. Rowing
8. Brazil

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